August 24, 2022

Everything You Need to Know About Sex After Divorce, According to Experts

Everything You Need to Know About Sex After Divorce, According to Experts

Getting back out there may seem tricky, but we’ve got ways to keep your mind and body healthy and happy.

Are you recently (or not so recently) divorced and out there in the dating world for the first time in, well, what feels like forever? Getting to the part of a new relationship where you take off your clothes can be challenging, or even downright intimidating. That’s where we come in. From our viewpoints as medical pros-Lauren Streicher is an ob/gyn and her daughter Rachel Zar is a relationship and sex therapist-we can help you navigate the tricky mind and body issues that arise.

Get over your anxiety around dating

Many people assume that relationship and sex therapists only focus on people in committed relationships, but many of my single (or newly single!) clients are actually sorting through the complexities of dating-from choosing the right app to choosing the right partner. And as women get older, anxiety around dating goes up. Maybe it’s been years since your last first date (and now you have to learn how to swipe?!), or your internal clock is ticking, or it simply seems more complicated now to find someone to have fun and socialize with.

Still, there are many reasons why dating gets better with age. First of all, those rumors you’ve heard about the dating pool shrinking are a myth; in fact, right now there’s the largest population of single adults in history (chalk it up to the increased acceptability of divorce as well as more people staying unmarried by choice).

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But let’s say you’re over 40-libido and sexual pleasure go down with the years, right? Wrong! Research shows that 53% to 79% of older adults who have a partner are sexually active, and it turns out age and menopausal status are not significantly related to overall sexual satisfaction. Even most sexually active adults over 60 are satisfied. Age often comes with an added dose of self-understanding, which does wonders to counter issues caused by the anxiety of our younger years.

Dating gracefully at any age can be difficult. The biggest issues I see single women struggle with-whether they are new at the dating game or have been doing it for years-are confidence and communication.

Limit your online stalking to a quick search

By the time you’re well into adulthood, bringing someone new into your life doesn’t just mean getting a plus-one for parties and regular sex; it also means fitting another human’s habits, friendships, schedules, and past on top of your own. Dating and relationships are all about that give-and-take-and compromise is trickier and a little uncomfortable when we’re set in our ways.

Knowing this may send you straight to Google before each date to try and prejudge whether he (or she) will be compatible with you-but that’s a surefire way to kill the thrill of getting to know someone new. If you’re meeting a person from a dating app or as a blind setup, there’s no harm in doing a quick search to make sure he actually exists and isn’t on any terrifying registries. But I caution my clients away from getting sucked into the online wormhole. Think of how you would feel if, before a first date, this new person had already been judging your past partners on Facebook, scrutinizing your job history on LinkedIn, and even scrolling through your high school yearbook (yes, many of these are online now). Some of the fun of dating is letting information roll out slowly over time and staying curious about each other. Jumping to the finish line takes away the mystery (an important component of eroticism and attraction). It also doesn’t allow you or your date to pick and choose how and when you share certain information.

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